August 22, 2012 | Posted By Andy Inkster
The biggest story in LGBTQ parenting news this week is about a Winnipeg chapter of La Leche League and their decision to deny Trevor MacDonald’s application to be a leader. Trevor is a breastfeeding trans dad to a toddler, and La Leche League has a policy that only mothers can be leaders.
Like other organizations that provide care to pregnant and post-partum people, La Leche is being challenged on their assumptions about the gendered nature of parenting, and having to think about how to meet the needs of people other than coupled, heterosexual women, including LBQ women, single mothers by choice, and trans people. Fertility clinics, midwifery and OB/GYN practices, abortion clinics, lactation consultants and breastfeeding clinics are all grappling with these issues.
What is heartening about Trevor’s story is how much support he is receiving from many quarters, including parenting communities. Hopefully this is a reflection of new models of trans-inclusion in reproductive care, and of broad support for queer parents in general.
The Blogosphere and the media are abuzz with analysis of LLLC and support for Trevor. In the meantime, here are links to some resources for trans masculine people pursuing pregnancy, birth, and lactation:
Trevor has started a Facebook group for Birthing and Breastfeeding Transmen and Allies - http://www.facebook.com/groups/449750635045499 - and he blogs at Milk Junkies: http://www.milkjunkies.net/
At the LGBTQ Parenting Network, we offer support to a variety of peer-facilitated support groups, including a Trans Dads Support Group: http://www.lgbtqparentingconnection.ca/programs.cfm?fuseaction=events.PublicProgramDetails&eventID=b2cb0c93-3048-8bc6-e86d-af042a4c3c39
With Rainbow Health Ontario, we recently produced a Fact Sheet titled Reproductive Options for Trans People: http://www.rainbowhealthontario.ca/admin/contentEngine/contentDocuments/Reproductive_Options_for_Trans_People_final.pdf
In collaboration with The 519’s Queer Parenting Programs, we offer two courses: Transmasculine People Considering Pregnancy http://www.lgbtqparentingconnection.ca/programs.cfm?fuseaction=events.PublicProgramDetails&eventID=8312aa7e-3048-8bc6-e82e-44504b105940
Queer and Trans Family Planning(s) http://www.lgbtqparentingconnection.ca/programs.cfm?fuseaction=events.PublicProgramDetails&eventID=0a5365d4-3048-8bc6-e853-724f86b981da.
Finally, check out this documentary about trans families: Transforming FAMILY http://www.lgbtqparentingconnection.ca/socialchange/TransformingFamiliesFilm.cfm is a ten minute documentary available online.
It’s an exciting time to be working on behalf of trans families and we’re eager to work with organizations who would like to become more queer and trans-inclusive.
(Photo used with permission from Trevor MacDonald, apologies for the links - we are having technical issues.)